Thumbsucker

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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Released 2005

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Movie Summary

Director:
Mike Mills
Released:
2005
Rating:
R

Thumbsucker is a quirky comedy based on the novel by Walter Kim and released in 2005. Kim's novel was adapted for the screen by Mike Mills, who also directed the film. Teenager Justin Cobb (Lou Taylor Pucci) is an otherwise normal student who chronically sucks his thumb. His parents, Audrey (Tilda Swinton) and Mike (Vincent D'Onofrio) have tried to help their son quit, but are too consumed by their own compulsions to realize the extent of Justin's problem. Embarrassed but unable to control the behavior, Justin is a depressed loner who often locks himself in the school bathroom to suck his thumb in peace. Growing desperate, he consults his free-thinking dentist for help and accepts the dentist's offer to hypnotize him. Before the hypnosis session, however, the school psychologist diagnoses Justin with Attention Deficit Disorder. Fortified by serious medication, Justin stops sucking his thumb and becomes a manic, brilliant, and very popular student. No longer held in thraldom to his thumb, Justin is disturbed to realize that he is now addicted to something far more dangerous.

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Metacritic Score

  • 80

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    Mr. Pucci, emerging slowly from behind a stray lock of brown hair, plays Justin's ambiguous transformation with deft understatement. And Mike Mills, who wrote and directed, keeps t...

  • 70

    Variety Dennis Harvey

    Thumbsucker (like "Donnie Darko") is more likely to prosper in the long haul as a home-format cult fave than in its initial arthouse tour. Both offer eccentric humor within a fairl...

  • 60

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    Thumbsucker aims high but swerves too frequently between the engaging and the credibility-defying to be satisfying.

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    Comedy, Documentary, Drama